A Mountain of Memories

Happy days!

My latest release, A Mountain of Memories, is now available to purchase on Amazon Kindle at http://mybook.to/Mountain

The paperback is also available now from the publisher, feedaread.com

Meanwhile, I thought perhaps you’d like to know what this book is about:


A childhood trip from Edinburgh to explore Caitlin’s family’s history results in tragedy on a mountainside above the village of Kinlochleven.
As an adult she is still affected by the events that took place there, though most of her memories of that day were lost as a result of its trauma.
Over a century earlier, Caitlin’s great-great grandmother, Mhairi, watched the village of Kinlochleven being born, suffering through its birth pangs.
Caitlin and Mhairi’s lives are linked by their common heritage, and as their stories become intertwined, Caitlin is drawn back to the question that has haunted her for eleven years.
What really happened on that mountainside?

I hope you enjoy author readings, because here I am, reading the first part of A Mountain of Memories:

What one early reader is saying:
“This is an absolute MUST read! I was utterly captivated from the very beginning.
A Mountain of Memories is completely immersive, strikingly intelligent and enticingly interesting with a twist you will not see coming. This book explores something all of us can relate to and is written with a depth of feeling, warmth and understanding using words and language with such care and attention, characters so full of depth that they are left in your heart well after turning the last page!
Find a cosy chair, get a cup of something hot, put your phone on silent, curl up and enjoy!”

ebook: http://mybook.to/Mountain

paperback: https://www.feedaread.com/books/A-Mountain-of-Memories.aspx

I Made it Home!

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been busy running my novel, Making it Home, through the Kindle Create program in order to give you, the reader, a better ebook reading experience. There should be no formatting problems in the Kindle edition now.

Plus, I have tidied up things like punctuation, a couple of spelling mistakes and given the book a general health check, and it’s ready to greet the day with a smile, face washed, teeth cleaned. Yay! Feeling fresh and good.

During this health check, I was willing to make any adjustments that seemed necessary, no matter how small or how large. Much to my joy, I found I still love the story and I’m still happy with how I wrote it – in fact, sorry to sound immodest, but I enjoyed my own novel tremendously.

Making it Home has had some lovely reviews over the years and it would be great if this new, spruced up version gained some more. If you haven’t read it already, there are a whole bunch of readers who could assure you you’d enjoy it, so why not give it a read?

It’s Women’s Contemporary Fiction, has a generous touch of romance, a good helping of friendship, a soupçon of intrigue, a pinch of humour, and a shake of mystery.

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Kate had a home, but her heart wasn’t in it – or in her marriage. So she left them both.

Phyllis had a home. Her heart was in it, but she was lonely. So she shopped.

Naomi had no home and her heart was in cold storage, frozen by grief and fear. So she shopped.

They found one another in a department store, shopping. There’s a problem with retail therapy – you can overdose.

As friendship grows between these three women, they help one another face up to their problems, realising along the way, that every heart needs a home and it takes more than a house to make one.

A contemporary novel about three women who want more.

At some point in the future, I hope to give the paperback version the same health check, though the formatting has not been a problem there. Meanwhile, you can be assured the story is unchanged and reads as happily in either version, paperback or ebook, and is available on Amazon. The paperback is also available in WaterstonesBarnes and Noble, or can be ordered in any good bookstore.

To find out about all my books:  Amazon Author Page

 

Tone of Voice

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A grey day today.

I set out on my thankfulness walk anyway this morning, thankful that at least it wasn’t raining. I don’t go far on my walk, just several times run the garden, counting my blessings as I go, thinking about all that I have to be thankful for.

I’ve been on my own this past few days and decided I’d talk out loud – just to see if I still had a voice since it hadn’t been used in quite a while. But I didn’t like my tone of voice. It didn’t sound thankful for long. I started grumbling about the fact the temperature has dropped and it’s damp and cold again, more like March than May, and it was affecting my joints, making it too painful to walk round the garden more than once, and anyway I don’t feel so steady today, don’t have much energy.

My walk quickly became a grumbling walk instead of a thankfulness one.

I didn’t like my tone of voice.

The list of grumbles continued as I came upstairs to start writing, and that got me thinking about a writer’s tone of voice. It changes too, depending on the subject matter and what part of the story you’re telling.

The voices of your characters need to change too. It’s no use having a miserable character saying pleasant things in a miserable tone of voice. It’s not going to work. Nor will it work if your normally cheerful character doesn’t adapt the way he/she speaks when tragedy strikes or difficulties arise.

In the first three books of The Reluctant Detective Series, Mirabelle, the main character, is an eccentric, bubbly sort of character, but when her daughter goes missing, she loses that bubbliness and becomes depressed and anxious. Her sister, Yvonne, is one of her comforters. She shelves her own problems and supports and encourages Mirabelle to keep going. She’s always there for her. Never too busy to listen. Never too busy to help.

In my current WIP, For What it’s Worth, I am telling Yvonne’s story, so Yvonne’s voice has to change a little. She is no longer the one to be jollying Mirabelle along. She has become the one who needs comfort and encouragement.

Will Mirabelle rise to the challenge of lifting her young sister’s spirits? Can she become the comforter? The encourager? Will she be there for Yvonne?

Fortunately, I’m not one to be down for long. A wee spell here at the computer with a cup of herbal tea beside me and my spirits lifted. My tone of voice will hopefully be better when I have occasion to use it again.

~~~

One of the things that added to my list of grumbles this morning is the fact that I got a letter the other day from my publisher telling me what to do once I have approved my book. Well, that would be fine if the book had come for me to check over and see if I approve or not! But it hasn’t, and it clearly should have. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

It really shouldn’t be long though, so you’ve still got time to catch up on the first two in the series if you haven’t read them.

Here are the details:

Searching for Summer ~~ Traces of Red ~~ Rusty Gold

You’ll find all of my books on Amazon

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*** UPDATE ***

Rusty Gold is now available for purchase as a paperback or as an eBook on

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Waterstones or FeedARead.com
or can be ordered from most bookstores

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Have a nice day, whatever you’re doing.

I’d love to hear what turns a grumbly day into a cheery one for you.

Do share in the comments.

~~~

Did I Shave my Legs for This? When Author Fairs aren’t Fair…

Fun post from children’s book author, Michelle Eastman.

Michelle Eastman Books

The term, “fair” brings to mind celebrations, hustle and bustle, excitement, and fun (sometimes creepy clowns are involved).

old clown

For authors, a fair is the opportunity to mix and mingle with fellow writers, meet book lovers, and get your book into the hands of new readers.

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In our mid-western city, author fairs are few and far between. So, when I saw the opportunity to participate in one, I jumped at the chance.

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Ticket in hand, I began preparing for the big day. Coffee in hand, I tackled my to-do list. My must-have list includes: my books, book stands, business cards, a credit card reader, pens, a table cloth, and some cash to make change.

cat

My want-to-have list is much longer and mostly unnecessary (except, I am a children’s book author, so a gal’s gotta have something for the kiddos). This list includes freebies like: bookmarks, coloring sheets, and candy. Since I…

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Why Did You Write That Book?

Readers often wonder what inspired a writer to write the particular book they have just enjoyed, and it’s a fair question to ask, since the novel may deal with a subject that is somewhat out of the ordinary or a place they have never been. I know I find it interesting to have some background information about a book I have enjoyed.

What about you? Let me know in the comments if you feel the same.

For me, It is the same with a series. I like to know a bit of background, if possible. I love if I can find out what experience or snippet of information inspired the author to write on that particular subject.

The series I am currently writing, The Reluctant Detective Series, is about Mirabelle, a rather eccentric lady whose daughter went missing. While searching for her daughter, Summer, she builds up a network of contacts and, with the help of them and her friend, DI Sam Burns, she finds other missing persons and is able to reunite them with family.
People become aware of her expertise in this area and begin to come to her for help. Reluctantly, she becomes a bit of a private detective and her home becomes an unofficial missing persons agency.

The inspiration for this series springs from personal experience. I grew up not knowing my birth father and, over the years, concocted many stories to explain his non-appearance in my life. As an adult, I became a very private detective, since I was my only client, and set about finding out who he was and where he was. It’s a theme I return to in many of my writings.

41QJW-AUatL._UY250_ Family Matters, my first published novel, revolves around a woman whose husband abandoned her and her two young children. She’d like to know why, and what happened to him. Eleven years later, after her son dies, she discovers that he’d been trying to trace his father, so she follows the steps he took in an effort to find out how much he’d uncovered. In this book, I draw on some of the procedures I used to trace my father.

41C9fKLVtzL._UY250_Making it Home has, as part of its theme, leaving home and whether it’s possible to make one’s way back. The main protagonists are three women who become friends and help one another overcome their different problems while each works out what ‘home’ means to them and where ‘home’ is.

41WL0eRCVLL._UY250_ In Flying Free, the main protagonist loses contact with her father, when she and her mother leave the family home when Jayne is still a young child. So, in effect, it is she and her mother who are the missing people in this novel. The story traces Jayne’s efforts to come to terms with the why and how of the situation.

517rcMAIR-L._UY250_ Here at the Gate is a story of a secret past, one threatened with exposure. Who is Mhairi? And why is she so afraid of what her daughter might find out when she traces the family tree.

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In researching for my novels, I found that:
Approximately 2,300 Americans are reported missing—every day.
This includes both children and adults, but does not include Americans who have vanished in other countries, individuals who disappear and are never reported, or the homeless and their children.
That’s somewhere around 900,000+ a year.

In Britain alone, an estimated 250,000 people go missing every year. Many of those cases are resolved by police; just 2,500 people remain untraced more than a year after they disappear, some of them stay missing long after a year, ten, twenty, thirty years and more.

But that can still mean those who are contacted by police or other authorities do not return home and that families are not told if their loved one is alive or safe.
A closed case simply means the police are confident that no crime took place.

And how many of these missing people are children or young teenagers?

It is estimated that at least 8 million children worldwide go missing each year.
800,000 children in the U.S; 40,000 children in Brazil; 50,500 in Canada; 39,000 in France; 100,000 in Germany; and 45,000 in Mexico; 230,000 in the U.K.
And in most of the developing world—including Africa, Asia, and Latin America—no one is counting missing children.

These figures, while chilling, also show me that the fictional stories I have written or will yet write are a drop in the ocean compared to the true stories no-one is writing.

I know how it feels for someone to be ‘missing’ from your life. I wonder how many of you know that feeling too? If you feel you’d like to, please feel free to share your story in the comments.

~~~

In The Reluctant Detective Series, Mirabelle is mostly able to find young women, in their teens or early twenties. Those who have not been missing too long. Though her expertise stretches further, and, with the help of her network of unusual contacts, she’ll have a try at finding anyone.

Searching for Summer Final

The first of the series, Searching for Summer, is mainly focused on Mirabelle’s search for her daughter, and the building up of her network of helpers. As her reputation for finding missing people grows, she becomes increasingly involved in other cases, the reluctance of the title of the series being because each case takes a bit of the focus off Summer.

Traces of Red, the second book in the series, is almost ready to be released, so, if you haven’t yet read Searching for Summer, now would be a good time to do so. It makes a great holiday read, absorbing enough to make your journey pass quickly or to keep you resting by the pool.

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How to thrive as an Independent Author…

Delightful post by Children’s Author Mariana Llanos, outlining some of the qualities she feels you need to make a success of being an Independent Author.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

If you’re serious about self-publishing, you might already know that publishing books isn’t easy. Behind each book there are countless hours of writing, revising, producing and marketing. Most importantly, behind each book, there’s a piece of your bare soul. The world of publishing can be as rewarding and fertile as it can be ruthless and disheartening.

front cover copy I decided to pursue self-publishing in early 2012. A year after, I was the proud author of a beautiful children’s book called Tristan Wolf. I’ve done everything my Marketing 101 book said I should do. I’ve protected fiercely the quality of my books, and I’ve learned from the mistakes I’ve made (and I keep on learning). I’ve published four more books and released three of those in Spanish. It sounds exhausting, but it’s all part of my plan to take over the world one children’s book at a time 😀

As part of…

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Meet The Author – Christine Campbell | Reading Head

It was fun to see myself on someone else’s blog!

Thank you Liza Shaw for giving me this opportunity to let your readers get to know me a little.

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Searching for Summer    pastedGraphic_4  THE book cover pastedGraphic_2  Featured Image -- 1966

Meet The Author – Christine Campbell

Welcome all.

Today I’m very lucky to interview Christine Campbell, author of Searching for Summer and four other novels.

Christine Campbell

Hi Christine, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Thank you, Liza, it’s very kind of you to ask. Perhaps the first thing you should know about me is that, although I live near Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, in my imagination, I live somewhere much warmer, where I can still run up hills and swim in the freshwater pools under waterfalls, and I am 26 years old.

I know, I know, my oldest child is well into his forties, and I have ten grandchildren, but, in my heart, I’m 26 years old.

I don’t intend getting any older, no matter what age I look, no matter the walking frame, the poor hearing, the poor eyesight, the poor health. I am rich in so many other ways.
At a cuddly 4’11’, I’m also tall, slim and beautiful.

Read the rest of this interview via Meet The Author – Christine Campbell | Reading Head.

Searching for Summer Book Trailer

If you know me at all, you’ll know I love to chat. Today it’s not about me chatting, it’s about the beautiful trailer for my latest novel, Searching for Summer.

I’ll let it speak for itself.

I hope you enjoy it.

Searching for Summer by Christine Campbell

Searching for Summer

http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00TDYRLGK

A Team Pow Production

http://www.timpowfilms.net

Wild Mountain Thyme – Aimee and Tim Pow

Growing up to be Jo March

I’m delighted to have a guest on my blog today. Author Samantha Dunaway Bryant has been kind enough to visit and introduce herself and her upcoming book to us. The page is yours, Samantha.

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Growing up to be Jo March

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I was always going to be a writer. You know, when I grew up. I had romantic visions of what that meant–mostly drawn from Louisa May Alcott’s Jo March in Little Women. I imagined it involving a lot of time spent alone in a lovely room (preferably a turret with a fireplace) making things up. It may sound solitary, but that was fine with me; I was a solitary child, preferring reading and writing to more raucous types of fun.

Still, I still thought I’d be famous in my own way. Somehow I thought that, if you were a writer, that automatically meant that people would read your work.

There was a lot I didn’t know.

I didn’t know that “growing up” is a relative process and that it was entirely possible to be over forty and still feel as if you’re waiting to be a real grown up.

I didn’t know that making a living solely as a writer was a rarity, and that writing a good story didn’t guarantee anyone would buy it or read it.

I didn’t know that living a writing life would turn out to be so social!

When I was about to turn forty-two, I realized it was time to commit and be a writer, rather than just talking about it. Like one of my characters, Helen describes, “Sometimes, Helen felt like she had spent her whole life waiting to be “old enough” and then had crossed over into “too old” without finding out what is was that she had been waiting for.”

That was me and I didn’t know what I was waiting for. It was time to take myself and my work seriously and give it a real shot. I committed to writing every day and began to finish the things I’d been playing with for years. Then, I started submitting them.

Happily, that means I can tell you that, just before my forty-fourth birthday, my debut novel, Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel will be published by Curiosity Quills Press (on April 23, 2015). You can preorder the Kindle version already!

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So, now is the social part because I would like to make my living from my writing, like my role model Jo March, and in this day and age, that means finding ways to get readers to notice my book among the many available to their eyes.

It’s been hard for an introvert like me, but I’ve been reaching out to people, making blogger friends, and connecting with other writers. I’ll be holding a launch party for my book at a local independent bookstore (Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill). That makes it all feel very real!

So, now I’m living that childhood dream of being a writer. A published one even! I don’t yet have a writing room in a turret, though I do have a fireplace. I’m managing this with a day job (I teach middle school Spanish) and a family (my children are 15 and 7), so you can bet it’s not easy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I may be a little older than Jo March was now, but I’m still a woman of words, just like I always wanted to be.

~~~

Samantha’s book is available to preorder now

at

https://curiosityquills.com/kindle/change/

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What’s That Book About?

flying free cover 2290x1520mmAmazon Link: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00HUHGQW2

Flying Free is my third novel.

The blurb on the back of the book reads:

When Tom asks Jayne to marry him, he unwittingly opens her personal Pandora’s Box, and now she can’t seem to close the lid on all that rushes out at her, whirling her into a cycle of self-sabotage.
Unable to commit to a relationship, she pushes Tom away…along with everything else that’s important in her life.
There are things she had chosen to forget. There are others she can’t remember even when she tries. What she does remember is fear.
Feeling emotionally trapped by her past, her biggest challenge is to break through its bars and fly free.
Then she finds someone to help her make sense of what’s happening, but, instead of slamming the lid shut on all that has been let loose, he helps her open it wider and makes her face her fears in order to overcome them.
Remembering the past helps her make sense of the present and allows her to begin the process of healing and she finds that, as in the fable, there is one last thing left in the Box. That thing is hope.
But, when she is ready to commit to a relationship, will Tom still be waiting?

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There is also the short video I made where I read the first chapter of Flying Free.

You’ll find that over there on the right, in the sidebar.

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But what is Flying Free about?

I’ve made you a short video by way of explanation.

Amazon Link: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00HUHGQW2

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I’d love to get your thoughts on both the subject matter of Flying Free and on whether it is helpful to have the video.

Thank you.

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